The sound is recognizable as businessmen and women through the big, packed halls. Handshakes are given to new friends and maybe a hug or two are given to the old friends. The overall atmosphere is one of joy for this long-awaited reunion.
A week ago, most of the world’s maritime expertise flew to sunny Athens, thirsty to meet with old friends, connect with new ones and share their industry insight to one of the world’s largest shipping communities. It has been 4 years since the last Posidonia edition, and the Greek shipping community had a big desire to demonstrate that they haven’t lost their maritime glamour. Especially after a 2-year postponement.
Believe us, when we write that they got to show their maritime glamour more so than no other country. Otherwise, why would +20,000 of the world’s maritime and shipping expertise fly all the way to Athens?
Besides all the new industry insights from exhibitors, all the great new connections at the receptions and all the catch up with old friends, what MARPRO really learned this week at Posidonia 2022 was far too precious, and we found it a reason to create an article for our maritime & shipping readership.
As many of you know, Greece is a maritime nation by tradition, as the story goes, shipping might be the oldest form of occupation for the Greeks, and an essential element of the Greek economy since ancient times.
What really stands out, is their pride on the fact they have more than any other people in the world, remained through their long history and without interruption, mariners, and seafarers. From the ancient times through the Ottoman Empire to their independence, they remained loyal to the sea.
The Greek land is covered in mountains and the farming region only consists of 1/5 of the entire Greek land, hence it can only offer a modest harvest. The sea was therefore their way out. The Greeks are proud of their endless coastline, their natural harbours, their golden beaches, and their countless scenic islands. They love the sea; they have fought on the sea and they have worshipped the sea and its divine powers. Hence why many Greeks assure us, that seamanship comes especially naturally to the Greeks.
The modern Greek shipping industry flourished in the 19th century, when trading families bought vessels to transport goods between the Black Sea and northern Europe.
Whether these historical details are the reason, why Greeks have achieved such a significance in the global maritime industry, is uncertain. What is certain is their magnificent achievement in owning the largest fleet in the world.
Today, shipping is a pillar of the Greek economy and Greece ranks as the world’s largest ship owning nation with a fleet of 4,901 vessels and positioning the Greek shipowners controlling 19,42% of global deadweight tonnage. Besides ranking as 1st globally in ownership of vessels, the Greek shipowners are heavily investing in growing their fleets with new buildings.
In raw numbers, Greek shipowners control:
- 30.25% of the world tanker fleet,
- 14.64% of the world chemical and product tankers,
- 15.58% of the global LNG / LPG carriers,
- 20.04% of the world bulk carriers,
- 9.53% of the world containerships.
If you ask a Greek about the reason for their success in shipping they will say, three things helped: Greece’s location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, the Greek unity, and their love for the sea. But we know it’s more than that, as the Greek shipowners continue to invest heavily in cutting-edge technology to upgrade in quality and to adapt in new market needs and regulations, although they rank as the 1st and leading in many listings.
If you ask us, if you truly want to learn about the Greek shipping industry, Posidonia is the place to be. As Greece’s Shipping and Island Policy minister, Ioannis Plakiotakis, stated in the opening ceremony: “For more than 50 years now Posidonia has been established as the defining event that promotes the best example of creativity and productivity for Greece – shipping.”
See you again in 2024?